Nvidia makes good on its promise and releases a macOS driver

Nvidia briefly announced a few days that it had a macOS driver in the works that would support its latest 10-series graphics cards, and it appears the green team has made good on that promise. Driver release 378.05.05.05 is now available for macOS Sierra.

Despite the Pascal support, the driver release is somewhat of an odd duck, as driver updates tend to focus on updates for new hardware and performance improvements for newly-released software. However, since Nvidia cards haven't been inside Apple products for several years, all the hardware listed in the release notes is at least four years old. The driver updates are for Nvidia-equipped Mac Pro systems from 2010, 2009, and 2008. Additionally, Nvidia is offering beta support for select iMacs and MacBook Pro systems from 2013 and 2012.

Nvidia also doesn't call out Pascal graphics cards explicitly in the supported hardware list. Instead, the supported products page contains a brief list of the hardware originally sold in the Apple systems several years ago. The list is headlined by the venerable GeForce GTX 680 and Quadro K5000. Regardless, some Reddit users are reporting success with using this drivers with graphics cards like the recently-released Titan Xp, so it is the promised Pascal update.

Users with the right combination of Apple and Nvidia hardware can click over to Nvidia's site to download the driver release. There's a separate driver for those interested in making use of Nvidia's CUDA architecture. The rest of us might well wonder what's next for Nvidia and Apple. It's not unthinkable that the upcoming refresh of the Mac Pro might be equipped with an Nvidia graphics card.

Comments closed
    • Chrispy_
    • 3 years ago

    What’s the point?

    Apple ignores OpenCL and OpenGL, they’re too busy focusing on the Metal-API which is the exact opposite direction to the OpenGL/Vulkan/DX12 direction that AMD and Nvidia’s hardware is moving in.

    The three major platforms are Windows, XBOne and Sony’s PS4. It’s all x86-64 hardware with dedicated OpenGL/DirectX hardware.

    Apple’s is trying to move away from Intel processors by designing its own, trying to move away from an x86 reliance for more profitable cross-platform integration, and moving away from OpenGL + OpenCL whilst completely ignoring Vulkan and DirectX.

      • BobbinThreadbare
      • 3 years ago

      I think you have to consider Android a major platform too, and it’s Arm but OpenGL/Vulkan

      edit: yeah ok x86 android exists (as does MIPS), but realistically it’s an arm platform

      • tipoo
      • 3 years ago

      “Apple ignores OpenCL and OpenGL”

      OpenGL definitely (mother of god, 6 years behind now), but up until now they were quite the industry pusher on OpenCL. They still don’t support 2.0 though, as you said it may be dropping off for Metal, but that would be short sighted as a broad industry standard. Same with Vulkan graphics, which I still hope they add.

    • dyrdak
    • 3 years ago

    I’m curious if most of the driver (and hardware) users would be also hackintosh users (at this point at least).

    • blahsaysblah
    • 3 years ago

    Wonder how much the continued console design losses impacted this.

      • tipoo
      • 3 years ago

      Odd timing after their one console design win, which seems to be selling well…Also, why wouldn’t they always be wanting more places to put their GPUs regardless?

    • tipoo
    • 3 years ago

    Any word on OpenCL support in there? Do they support 2.0?

    Nvidia giving a crap about OpenCL over CUDA was probably the big bugbear that has prevented any Nvidia macs recently. A future Mac Pro with Nvidia would be contingent on that most likely.

    Even if Nvidia has better perf/watt everywhere else (and they do), AMD/OpenCL runs faster on FCPX, Nvidia/CUDA runs faster on Premiere, which for Apple makes one a better choice as gaming isn’t on their mind.

    Pascal support could also be a hint at official external GPU support in macOS soon, I hope.

      • chuckula
      • 3 years ago

      OpenCL 2.0 support has gone into Beta status as of earlier this year: [url<]https://streamcomputing.eu/blog/2017-02-22/nvidia-enables-opencl-2-0-beta-support/[/url<]

        • tipoo
        • 3 years ago

        Is this Mac driver on par with the Windows beta though?

          • chuckula
          • 3 years ago

          That is left as an exercise to the reader, although I’d suspect they’ll provide OpenCL support on Macs since it is popular on that platform if they are really serious.

          If their drivers on Mac are anything like Linux, then the core driver is pretty much the same codebase as the Windows driver with the necessary adaptations made to each OS.

            • the
            • 3 years ago

            I can confirm that there is indeed OpenCL on nVidia cards on the Mac.

            What I don’t know off is what version of OpenCL is supported and if this new driver adds support for OpenCL 2.0. Something for me to check over the weekend.

            • the
            • 3 years ago

            Well it appears that OpenCL 2.0 can’t even happen on the Mac as Apple provides absolutely no support for that version of the framework. Thus pretty much everything is limited to OpenCL 1.2 which is supported under macOS by nVidia. Essentially OpenCL support on OS X has fallen to the way side like Apple’s efforts on keeping up to date with OpenGL.

            I have yet to actually install the newest driver but I ran into confirmation of the above in finding tools to very what versions I currently do have installed.

    • chuckula
    • 3 years ago

    [quote<]It's not unthinkable that the upcoming refresh of the Mac Pro might be equipped with an Nvidia graphics card.[/quote<] YES IT IS UNTHINKABLE! -- Raj

      • Kretschmer
      • 3 years ago

      Update the Mac Pro? Such silly talk!

        • chuckula
        • 3 years ago

        Can you improve on perfection?
        Of course not!

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